Her eyes rained down from the balcony splashing the ladyboys below. They stood on the street, high heels and long hair, make up and smiles. “I feel sorry for ladyboys, they all have to be prostitutes”.
I looked up from my book “Some of them, yes, but only a few.”
“What?” She looked over my way, her long hair blocking out the setting sun. “I thought all ladyboys were prostitutes.”
“Nope”. I went back to reading.
“Well, I don’t mean all ladyboys are prostitutes, just most of them.”
“Nope, almost none of them are prostitutes”, I added, not looking up from my book.
“But they are prostitutes, and the ones we saw last night were prostitutes too.
I let out a hot sigh and put my book down. “You are new here, you haven’t had time to explore and meet them. Some ladyboys, like women, and like men, are prostitutes, but most don’t sell themselves. Here, most ladyboys don’t work on the streets selling their bodies, they work in salons fixing hair and applying makeup, in the market selling jewelry, slim dresses, and whatever other works they can find.
Her smile curled as she eyed me. “But.” She paused, her lips held open, waiting for her mind to send more information. It came. “But what about discrimination, I thought they had to sell themselves for money.”
“Some yes, discrimination exists, and it destroys lives, but here, people are pretty tolerant. Lady boys have been around for just about forever and most families accept their new transgender sons and daughters. The same goes with business.
Her eyes sailed back down to the street below. Men bargained and the ladyboys accepted. “Why are they accepted? Back in the west people used to kill gays, put them in jail, or just do terrible things to them.
Do you, you know, have any ladyboys, umm, are your friends?
“Of course, I’ve lived here for a long time after all and I’ve met some awesome ladyboys. There is Geng, she is the sweetest person I’ve ever met. She is a pharmacist on Ko Samuai. I know Ariel, a daughter of a corrupt politician, who loves her family and runs her own Translation business. I could go on and on. I’ve met a lot of really cool people, some are men, some are women, some are ladyboys, but we are here, and here, that doesn’t matter, here people are just people, and people are amazing.”
“Wow, sorry, I’ve only heard that ladyboys were prostitutes.”
“No worries, when I came to here, I knew almost nothing too, but I learned, I learned that here ladyboys are common, here they are accepted, and here they are part of life.